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Christian

Geniuses

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But the gun club and Promethea homage were great issues, I thought!

 

Seriously? The Gun Club (that's the one with the Victorian space capsule) is too thin even to use as a short 2000AD story. At the very most, it would make an acceptable one-panel cool idea in LoEG. But that's about it.

 

And Death Machine Telemetry - AKA the Promethea wank issue - took 21 pages of cut and pasted theoretical science to tell us something that had already been mentioned and dealt with in two panels of the Planetary/Batman special. There wasn't even a story there. It was just... nothing. Had it been a subplot in another issue then that would have been fine. But NO. Tcha.

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OK, I downloaded the complete Planetary torrent, out of curiosity. The only new issue I've read so far is the "Vertigo" story - an issue about which I'd heard so much rhapsodic praise that it couldn't really be anything but a disappointment.

 

...boy, and how. That's it? That's what everyone's been gushing about for the past 5 years? A few pages of political commentary so clumsy as to make even the most hackneyed late-80s "adult" title look sophisticated, a half-arsed sub-Hellblazer story of supernatural revenge/conmanship, some generic Ellis hardman/I hate superheroes dialogue, and a final page "twist" which is one of the most egocentric wanks I've ever seen. Leaving aside entirely the fact that the whole thing feels at least half-a-decade out of date (which it is, to be fair, but given that the tone of the issue is one of sneering contempt for the previous generation's 'cutting-edge' material, I'm less inclined to be forgiving - I know that the satire was intended with tongue at least partly in cheek, but still...people in glass houses, and all that. Certainly, the self-consciously "cool" Planetary crew now look every bit as dated and ridiculous as most of the '80s characters Ellis highlights in this issue)...Spider fuckin' Jerusalem? He's meant to be the symbol of how 'mature' comics evolved into the '90s? Fuck off, Warren. It looked for a few panels as though "Carter" was going to become King Mob, which would at least have made some sense in the context of the story. But no.

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I wasn't very impressed with the Vertigo issue either.

As far as I remember, I don't think it got a lot of praise around this Forum.

It's entirely egocentric, and an example of why I dislike Ellis and would never consider him a genius.

Steve Gerber's satire of the doom and gloom of Vertigo from Howard the Duck was much more inventive, I thought.

The whole thing is his showing what made the mature reader books of the 1980s cutting edge and innovative, but that they've never evolved since, and Vertigo has become stagnant and rests on its laurels.

I agree.

But, his whole idea that Vertigo should have become more about books like Transmetropolitan was laughable.

I'm not sure that Ellis really has anything great to say about his characters in Planetary though. They're there to carry the plot, which is all about ideas.

It's another example of Ellis showing us shiny, cool people who are better than everyone else, the unlikeable protagonist with nothing interesting to say. The only other cut-out character Ellis knows how to write besides the "This character is influenced by John Constantine and pulp noir novels!".

But, having said that, Elijah Snow does go on to become a very interesting character as the series progresses.

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"Leaving aside entirely the fact that the whole thing feels at least half-a-decade out of date (which it is, to be fair, but given that the tone of the issue is one of sneering contempt for the previous generation's 'cutting-edge' material, I'm less inclined to be forgiving"

 

This line is gold!

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Spider fuckin' Jerusalem?

 

Ellis claims that was added by Cassaday, though whether you believe him or not is down to you. He doesn't say what the originial script described though.

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Considering the message that gives to the reader and the fact that it makes Ellis look like a complete egomaniac, it seems that someone, somehow would have made sure that revisions took place to distill the idea that books like Transmetropolitan should have been the future of Vertigo, which is how the story stands.

Considering some of Ellis' egocentric ramblings, I just took it for granted that Ellis would obviously feel that Vertigo should have embraced Ellis as the future of mature comics.

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He doesn't say what the originial script described though.

lesbian sex, probably: he was sending up Vertigo, after all.

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